Apple has rolled out an autocomplete feature for keyword searches on App Store in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. The feature will provide suggestions as users type in specific word searches on the store. This initiative will make it easier to locate specific apps or games and speed up the time it would have taken to locate particular objects of interest.

“Introducing search suggestions on the App Store,” Apple tweeted. “Select (or deselect) multiple suggestions to refine your search, so you can find even more amazing apps and games. Search suggestions roll out today starting with the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia.”

Although some iPhones released in early April have the search suggestion feature when Apple was testing the product in beta, the tech giant says it will become active on all iPhones in the given region starting from today. The feature will help users to drill down on their searches until they locate what they are looking for, whether they know it or not.

Let’s say a user is looking for a particular game on App Store. When the user begins to type the word “game,” the autocomplete feature makes meaningful suggestions such as “puzzle,” “offline,” “multiplayer,” and “kids” games among others. When you choose the puzzle option, the search engine will further drill down to suggest “jigsaw” or “word” puzzles among others. So you can always find what you are looking for even when you don’t know it initially.

While many people have commended the autocomplete search feature, many others complain that many of the results showing up are sponsored ads. For instance, you want to search for pizza so that you know how it is prepared, and then you get daunted with multiple ads by Papa John’s or Uber Eats among others. Some critics said it is unreasonable that Apple will earn from the ads exposed to users when all they want is relevant content in record time.

“What bugs me (and baffles me) is that if I search for, say, Spotify, the top hit is TikTok,” a particular user complained. “If I search for Flipboard, the top hit is an app called The Knowledge. Why isn’t the top app the one I actually want? Why is Apple trying to push me towards apps I don’t want?”

Maybe Apple will be addressing this concern shortly, but it is highly unlikely they will since they are profiting from this.

“These are just sponsored keyword ad placements,” someone explained on a forum. “Calling them suggestions suggests that they somehow are closer to your search term than the rest. No. They just paid Apple to be shown to you.”

Source: theverge.com